It begins with the death of Henry VII as he urges his son to have a son by marrying Katherine of Aragon. Henry is tender to Katherine but there is no son. So when he meets Anne Boleyn, all bets are off. The rat faced Cromwell lurks in shadows being sneaky. David Suchet and his eyebrows hams it up as the doomed Wolsey. Charles Dance (of 'Trinity') shows up as the equally doomed Buckingham.
Henry and Anne woo each other. Anne never brushes her hair. The do it on the royal bed which is surrounded by tacky looking net curtains that have H&A embroidered on them. They also swim in a lake in a terribly done blue screen SFX. Elizabeth is born, Henry does not react well. Norfolk (Mark Strong) plots his own survival. Henry turns on Anne and yells: "Get rid of her!" And it is done.
Henry marries Jane Seymour. Aske (Sean Bean) pops up to rebel, be arrogant, object to Henry's deeds and die horribly. Lady Mary returns to court to be sourfaced and fail to act. Henry beats Jane sending her into labour (and it is implied causing her death). Henry cries.
Henry comfort eats as his son Prince Edward grows up. Cromwell gets him to marry Anne of Cleeves. Henry ignores her. Norfolk serves up Catherine Howard (Emily Blunt). Cromwell dies in a botched execution. Henry rants and raves. Catherine is now queen and takes a bath in a very nice bathroom. But she fancies Culpepper and brings about her own ruin. Henry goes berserk and indulges in more wife beating.
Catherine weeps on the block but Henry is already falling for Catherine Parr. Then he dies. Edward is snotty, Mary makes bitch faces and Elizabeth looks wan. This was okay but nothing special. Oddly whole chunks of dialogue from this were recreated in the movie version of 'The Other Boleyn Girl'
"You'd put me, your queen, aside for a whore?"
"Once you dispose of one queen......"
"You spend every day with different whores. Who's this? Some pear shaped trollop from the provinces no doubt."
"What do I get? Stillborn babies, bastards, daughters!"
"The king is taking you as a virgin, if he suspects otherwise, all of our lives are in danger."